I was looking for private funding for an oil well re-development project in Texas, USA who could provide me with a loan with a low down payment requirement and good financing terms. I found a Loan Broker in California by the name of CIIIMTG, LLC/Lorenzo Nava CEO who introduced me to Alpine Global Financial & Real Estate Investment Group, Inc. (I have filed a separate complaint, with complete transaction details, against Lorenzo Nava and CIIIMTG, LLC. Essentially I paid Mr. Nava a $20,000 up-front fee to get me a “Commitment Letter” from a reputable private Lender who would close our loan. I received such a commitment letter from Alpine with the assurance from CIIIMTG that I was dealing with a highly reputable Lender. However, the Lender failed to close the loan as per the terms of our contract, and Mr. Nava has thus far refused to return my $20,000. We were supposed to have closed the loan in the first week of February, 2014.) Mr. Nava claimed that Alpine was a huge private international hedge fund based in HCM City, Vietnam with another office in the Turks & Caicos Islands. He told me that he had done a lot of previous business with Alpine and that I could trust them to close the loan if they liked our project and approved our loan. I completed a lengthy application with full project details and we were subsequently approved for our loan in the amount of $1,228,000 including added in fees and closing costs. The loan terms were excellent: 10% down: 3% interest only for up to 10 years: 3% closing costs added to the loan amount; guaranteed to close in 30 days; non-recourse loan with no pre-payment penalty; 60 day grace period to first payment then every 30 days; close with our own Attorney in the USA. The issue became that the Lender required us to pay the 10% down “up front” to supposedly purchase a Lender’s Mortgage Insurance Deposit (LMID) binder. (In our case, this premium payment amounted to $103,000). I never did understand this but I was told that private lenders operated differently than regular commercial lenders and it was a price that was necessary in order to get the loan terms that were being offered. We had already agreed that immediately upon closing, our closing Attorney would file a lien on our project lease in favor of the Lender. The amount of our loan is only approximately 1% or the proven oil reserves and existing equipment asset value of the project so there was an incredible amount of collateral for the Lender. However, it was explained to me by both CIIIMTG and Alpine, that our premium payment for the insurance binder would protect the Lender’s funds until the closing had been completed and the lien filed on our lease. Again, this did not make sense to me because the funds for closing would be in Alpine’s control until they were wired to our Attorney Trust Account and would not be dispursed to anyone until the closing had been completed and the appropriate distribution of funds had occured. The Lender’s funds would never be exposed unless they figured that the closing Attorney would steal the funds prior to closing. Prior to signing the Agreements with CIIIMTG and with Alpine, we had a conference call that included Alpine’s corporate principal (Dr. ZT Nguyen), Lorenzo Nava with CIIIMTG, my proposed lease Operator in Texas, our closing Attorney in Texas, and me. We jointly reviewed all of the loan contract terms and conditions. Our Attorney, my Operator, and myself all expressed deep concern with paying both Mr. Nava and Alpine and money prior to closing as this is not standard practice for any loan transaction that any of us had ever been a part of. Mr. Nava explained that although his $20,000 fee was non-refundable, he further explained that he was not in the business of keeping his client’s money if a loan did not close through no fault of the borrower. He assured us that the $20,000 fee would be promptly returned if the Lender failed to close the loan under its contracted terms and timeframe. Mr. Nava assured us that the only reason that the Loan would not close would be if I failed to pay for the insurance binder to protect the Lender or if I failed to sign at closing in 30 days. Dr. ZT with Apine, assured us that there is actually a clause (expressed in bold print) in the loan agreement, that clearly states that the LMID for $103,000 will be 100% refunded to the Borrower, if the loan is not closed by the Lender. I made everyone aware that I did not have enough liquid capital to pay the upfront fees of $20,000 and $103,000. Further, my Operator and Attorney informed everyone that I would be required to pay an immediate non-refundable down payment of $75,000 to the current leaseholder for our intended oil project in order to get him to take the lease off of the market for a period long enough to get my loan approved. Existing oil leases with currentl production are a very hot commodity in Texas and unless we paid the down payment, we could easily wind up with no project by the time a loan would close. I again told everyone that I would need to go out and borrow most all of the near $200,000 in upfront money that I would need. I emphatically told everyone that I could not afford to lose any of this money and Mr. Nava and Dr. ZT emphatically told us that the loan was approved and that it would absulutely close in 30 days from the time I paid the $103,000 for the insurance binder. The decision was made on Nov. 20, 2013 to move forward and I borrowed the funds to immediately pay the $20,000 fee to Mr. Nava and the $75,000 to the leaseholder to tie up the lease. It took me another month, until Dec. 27, 2013 to borrrow enough extra money to pay the $103,000 to Alpine for the insurance binder. We expected to close in the first week of February, 2014. The loan never closed. Alpine blamed the insurance company for all of the the delays that we incurred. I requested the name of the insurance company and for a contact person at the insurance company but was refused such information. On March 15, 2014 I informed Mr. Nava and Dr. ZT that we had far exceeded the grace period of time to close that I had with our leaseholder and that he had put the lease back on the market; I had therefore lost my project and I had lost my $75,000 downpayment because of Alpine’s failure to close the loan in the time frame contracted. I was told that I could submit a loan cancellation letter and request an immediate refund of my $103,000. I sent this letter on March 18. I also notified Mr. Nava that I expected an immediate return of my $20,000 that I had paid to him since the loan did not close and it was through no fault of mine. Alpine did not respond to any of my follow up inquiries for a month. Finally, on April 23, 2014 I reeceived an email from Dr. ZT stating that the insurance company required my cancellation letter to be notarized before my request could be processed. I got the letter notarized and I resent it the same day. Dr. ZT acknowledge receipt of the email and he said that he would immediately forward the letter to the insurance company for further proecessing. I have not received any correspondence from either Alpine, or from any insurance company, since that day despite numerous requests for an update from both myself and from Mr. Nava. Currently, I am out over $200,000 from this deal plus I owe interest on this money every month since I borrowed these funds. By all appearances, Alpine is operating a scam and by association, so is CIIIMTG.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 16:43 pm, May 25, 2018 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/alpine-financial-real-estate-investment-group-inc-review/.
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